Havana Cuba. — A chance meeting allowed me to become friends with Natalia Revuelta Clews, better known as Naty Revuelta, the beautiful Havana aristocrat who was Fidel Castro’s lover and had a daughter with him, Alina Fernández.
The meeting took place twenty years ago in the El Ateneo bookstore, on Línea and 12, where I worked. Naty Revuelta, who had attended the presentation of a book by the poet Rafael Alcides that day, asked me to get her a copy of the work “Recipient: José Martí”, by Luis García Pascual, and gave me his address so that when I had it, he would take it home. I did that several days later.
Naty’s home was located at the corner of 35th street and 28th street, in the Kholy neighborhood, Nuevo Vedado; an area inhabited almost exclusively by government leaders and their families.
The house, which still exists, stands on top of a stone promontory. It is accessed by a curvilinear staircase. A two-leaf iron and glass door leads to a small hall. To the left there is a room that serves as an office and library; Next are the dining room and the kitchen, from which, crossing the patio, one arrives at a servant’s room. At the entrance, the living room and the parlor that also lead to the patio, and to the left, the bedrooms and a fenced terrace, in which Naty liked to receive and talk with her visitors. Below, on 28th Street, is the two-car garage. Naty had a VW that she drove with skill.
In the house there were several works of art, including an oil portrait in a party dress that Félix de Cossío made for Naty, and stylish furniture. Naty confessed to me that thanks to his family assets, which he sold when he had financial need, he was able to maintain his home.
Naty Revuelta was a simple person, although of wide culture. She was fluent in three languages and had a degree in philology. She was an excellent hostess, she drank coffee or tea with her friends while she chatted about various topics. With me, she usually talked about books and cultural matters. But she sometimes told me about very interesting events in her life.
On the terrace, surrounded by plants and pieces of art, he told me about how he helped Fidel Castro buy the weapons for the assault on the Moncada Barracksby pawning her jewelry and giving her money from her bank account.
She once told me that when Fidel Castro, at the beginning of the 1960s, took her out of the Cuban Petroleum Institute, where she worked, for no reason, she found herself in trouble to support her daughters.
Perhaps in compensation, Fidel Castro sent her on a diplomatic mission to France with her daughter Alina, to bring the scientist André Voisin to Cuba, who would die in Havana and be buried in the Colón Cemetery. Next to her, years later, the dictator’s eldest son, Fidel Castro Díaz-Balart, was buried after committing suicide.
Over time, Naty’s confessions became more intimate.
One day he showed me a letter that Fidel Castro sent him in 1954 from the Model Presidio from the Isle of Pines and told me: “Read this and tell me if you think it is the letter from a man in love.” In that letter, Fidel spoke of his political ideals and just about his love.
Another day he told me that the wedding gift that Fidel Castro gave his daughter Alina was a box of Son soda, which at that time was worth one peso and twenty cents.
From her cozy terrace, Naty pointed out to me one day the building across the street and explained that from there, in 1993, Alina left Cuba in disguise, since her father denied her permission to emigrate.
I heard from her lips how she confessed to her husband her extramarital affair with Fidel Castro and that Alina was not his daughter, but the dictator’s. Even so, her honorable husband, although he opted for a divorce, agreed to give Alina his last name.
Naty agreed with Fidel Castro not to reveal that Alina was his daughter. But several years later, she, interviewed for a Spanish magazine, confirmed Fidel’s paternity. When she showed me the magazine where his words were published, she told me that he didn’t want to die without telling that truth.
Naty Revuelta passed away in March 2015, at the age of 88.
As he told me on one of the last occasions we talked, he made his will in favor of his granddaughter, Alina’s daughter, bequeathing her the house and all his belongings.
The house is still there, but I don’t know who lives in it, and if Naty’s last will was fulfilled.
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